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Washington Parish wants to tax gravel

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FRANKLINTON, La. (AP) — Washington Parish Councilman Mike Fussell wants the state to permit the parish to levy a severance tax on sand and gravel taken from pits.

Fussell tells The Daily News (http://bit.ly/UqfOHS) he will meet soon with Tangipahoa Parish officials to enlist their support.

The council has often lamented that most of the gravel used in southeast Louisiana for construction is taken from Washington Parish, but the parish receives nothing in return.

Fussell is also planning to take his proposal before the Louisiana Policy Jury Association during its annual meeting in February.

State legislators must vote to allow the severance tax to be imposed by each parish. Currently, there are no taxes on sand and gravel.

"We are trying to get everyone we can to support it," Fussell said. "We can't do it alone.

Earlier this fall, the Parish Council introduced a proposal for a severance tax on gravel and other material, such as sand, clay and topsoil. Washington Parish has historically been fertile ground for extracting those materials.

Though they don't know how much such a tax would generate, parish leaders say it would provide revenue to help offset Washington's budget crisis. The tax would most likely be levied by pound or tonnage.

Washington already has a severance tax on lumber taken from the parish.

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Information from: Bogalusa - Daily News , http://www.gobogalusa.com

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